The power of prayer and the importance of family collide in the Kendrick Brothers film, War Room. The Christian drama film, tells the story of Tony and Elizabeth Jordan. On the outside they are the epitome of the American dream but in their home, that bright dream is diminished. At the DVD release brunch, held at The Red Rooster restaurant in Harlem, guests were able to sit down with the producers and directors of the film, Alex and Stephen Kendrick and get a closer look at War Room.
The brunch, hosted by 107.5 WBLS own Liz Black, featured music performed by Damien Sneed and the Levites. The music along with the wonderful food truly uplifted the spirits of everyone in attendance. A brief Q&A with Alex and Stephen, facilitated by Liz Black, let everyone know what went into making War Room and what caused it to be the number one movie in the country.
War Room is now out on DVD.
Read highlights from the panel with the directors below:
What other features can we find on the DVD?
Kendrick Brothers: We have the common features you might find on a DVD: deleted scenes, and bloopers and things like that. It was important for Stephen and I to pack this DVD with as many things as we can. Our goal was two fold, movies are meant to be entertaining so we wanted to give them a them a wonderful experience that was entertaining. But we also wanted to give as much ammunition to the church, and to believers as possible. What that means is to show them how the Lord did things that only he could do through the film. Answered prayers, miracles that could happen on set, how people can increase their prayer life, how the church can build a stronger prayer ministry. We have testimonies from people who are prayer warriors, how did people get to where they are.
Talk about casting.
Kendrick Brothers: He said, if you could have any amount of money, or any star power, what would be the number one thing you would ask for? We’ve learned, everyone needs to be in the favor of God. If the favor of God is what you do, everything else is secondary to that. How many of us have seen projects and star power and a boat load of money, but it is not powerful, it doesn’t touch you. So we’ve learned to seek the favor of God. So when we go to castings, we look for God’s favor. Of course you need a certain wisdom, they need to fit the part, but one question we always ask the actors and any of the crew members this: Is there any part of your life that would prevent God from blessing your work on this project? Not because we think we’re better, not because there are perfect people. We want people that are chasing the same goals we are chasing. This movie, we wanted it to be entertaining and the first priority was that it ministered. We want people to have a closer walk with God. So Priscilla Shirer, T.C. Stallings, Karen Abercrombie these are people who identified with that, and the reason why we’re making the movie, they believed in the message of this film. It was a real honor and privilege. Talent is important, but it was secondary to who they are.
In scripture it is our tendency to choose who looks impressive, we will choose Saul, but God will say there’s David in the shadows who has a heart. Some people would have to pray through this for God to lead you to the David.
Speak about how you got the house for the film.
Kendrick Brothers: We were praying for Miss Claire’s house, it’s an older, classy home, but right before we started shooting Stephen and I were prayer walking, and we came across this house that was for sale that had the same exact look on it that we wanted for the film. The house was for sale for 9 months with no offers, so when we asked to rent the house for one month to shoot the scenes, the guy’s real estate agent was saying “no don’t let them do it, they could nick the walls, whatever.” We prayed that God would give him peace and he came to us, saying my real estate agent is against this, I’m going to give you the house, no one’s interested in it anyway.
We asked him, are you a man of faith, he says, “I’m a pastor.” We go upstairs, and I say, “We’re going to turn this room into a prayer room for the War Room” and he says “that’s where I have my morning prayers.” We rent it for one month, we begin praying together as cast and crew, if this house hasn’t had offers for nine months, Lord will you sell this house for this man because he’s been so gracious to us. The day we finish shooting, a couple shows up, falls in love with this house, makes an offer and it was accepted. So God sold this house when we were done with it.
Speak about the impact the film has had.
Kendrick Brothers: You want to laugh you want to cry, you want to leave a message that will change viewers’ lives. How many times do you watch a Hollywood movie big budget, professional actors, but you have nothing to show for it. You walk out and say, I want my $20 and 2 hours back. We want people to be really entertained, we want them to go on an emotional roller coaster, and you want to give them the truth that will transform their lives forever. We’re impacted behind the scenes as we were praying, writing the script, on set. We had 1,000 people that were praying, that we were sending out emails to, people that were on set praying for us. We saw miracles happen on set and then it shows up in the final product when God puts his hand on it, and lives were transformed. Theaters were breaking out in worship services, in singing, praying and cheering. This man, in a theater suddenly turns around gets on his knees and says to his wife, “honey I’m asking you to forgive me.” About 40 people started praying around this couple, they don’t even know each other, he said I’ve never seen this happen in my church, this is the most powerful thing I’ve ever seen. Reports of theater managers having to go in and kick people out because they were praying, so people could see the next show. He’s like, I’m walking in and it’s like a church service, there’s singing, there’s praying, people are on their knees, I’ve never seen this kind of movie before. It was amazing to see that.
Natia Sanchez contributed reporting.